I've now attended three school hustings, Gillingham, Shaftesbury and Sturminster Newton, and it's clear that young people are interested in political issues and want to hear what we have to say. That's a good basis from which to build.
I thought it might be useful to set out how I'd engage and work with our young people if elected as your MP:
- Hold a quarterly 'drop in surgery' at each secondary school so that students can drop in and have a chat / raise issues of concern with me;
- Hold, twice a year Youth Forums to provide an opportunity to discuss local and national issues;
- Appoint a Youth Advisory Group to work with me and our local councils to make sure youth issues are being addressed.
At the heart of my campaign is a desire to see our local North Dorset economy grow. Investment in broadband, mobile coverage and transport are key if we are to support existing local businesses and encourage new ones to come to our area, to invest and create work. Jobs for young people are needed. Likewise we must ensure that access to housing is promoted to let people live where they grew up rather than being priced out of their neighbourhoods. I am also keen to see a new FE college develop in North Dorset to provide skills and opportunity for people locally rather than having to try to travel to Poole or Bournemouth. None of these things will happen overnight but I am fully committed to doing all I can to ensure successful results.